MECQ: What to expect
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The island of Cebu will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting August 1 to 15, 2021.
Although some local government units (LGU) including Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City have issued appeals to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) over the decision, but so far, none have received a response yet.
Cebu City signified that they would no longer make any form of appeal as they would instead focus on action.
Cebu City Acting Mayor Rama said the policies that city would adopt would most likely be similar to the rest of Cebu Province and other highly urbanized cities (HUCs).
He also does not see any purpose of closing down borders since the entire Cebu is under one quarantine restriction.
Rama is set to release an Executive Order (EO) on the MECQ by Saturday, July 31, 2021. He said that he would release the city’s guidelines once he had met with the other local leaders about the matter.
In the May 2021 guidelines that the local government units (LGUs) have been provided for by the IATF as basis for the upcoming changes of the quarantine status would show that the MECQ category had distinct restrictions compared to the current modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Primarily, strict home quarantine is reimposed for those below 18 years old and those above 65 years old, those with comorbidities and those with immunodeficiencies except for obtaining essential goods and services as well for work.
Road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation at such capacity and protocols in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr)
This means that public transport such as jeepneys, buses, taxis, and others are still allowed to operate subject to a 50 percent maximum capacity or depending on the DOTr.
No face-to-face classes are allowed but the education sector can operate in accordance with the guidelines of Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Mass and social gatherings are prohibited even gatherings inside residences that involve multiple households converging in one.
This is with the exceptions of essential for the provision of health services, government services, and government services.
Religious gatherings may continue but only up to 10 to 30 percent capacity while wakes and burials can only be attended by the immediate family.
For dining, restaurants with no open space cannot accomodate dine-in customers, but they will be able to operate for take-out while alfresco dining is permitted up to 50 percent capacity.
Personal care services such as salons, barbers, and the like can accommodate up to 50 percent capacity.
Prohibited establishments include tourist attractions, recreational and entertainment venues, amusement parks, cockfighting arenas, live horse racing events.
Lotteries will be open provided they maintain the limited capacity and maintain social distancing.
Lastly, only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid Department of Tourism (DOT) Accreditation shall be allowed to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of public health emergency.
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